As many of you already know, I have signed up for an olympic triathlon on 16 September – which worryingly consists of a 1500m swim followed by a 42km bike and then a 10km run.
Recently, I completed my first ever sprint triathlon (half the olympic distance) as a ‘practice’ for September and although I did complete it, it was truly brutal and has made me realise just how challenging and painful this full triathlon is going to be!
I am therefore raising money for Project Rhino so there is some benefit to my pain and long hours of training!
The reason I have chosen Project Rhino is because in May, I was lucky enough to spend time with some of the amazing people behind Project Rhino and see first hand how much effort is going into the fight against rhino poaching and wildlife crime in South Africa.
I experienced some of the anti poaching methods run by Project Rhino and its members and crucially, I learnt why Project Rhino exist and it’s a depressing story…
In the past decade more than 7,000 rhinos have been killed in South Africa. The staggering increase in poaching has devastated South African’s rhino population with a total of 1028 rhinos killed for their horns in the last year. A persistent human desire for rhino horn, for everything from medicine to hangover cures to status symbols, drives the slaughter of these animals.
Who are Project Rhino?
Project Rhino is a group of conservation agencies working together to combat rhino poaching and wildlife crime in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), South Africa, one of the most historic and beautiful conservation regions in the world. They use a huge range of projects to stop wildlife crime including aerial surveillance, dehorning initiatives, dog and horse anti-poaching units, ranger training and education and communication programmes.
A day I will never forget was dehorning white rhino in a game reserve in KwaZulu-Natal with Project Rhino. Although it was heartbreaking to see such drastic measures taken to protect rhinos, it greatly reduces the risk of poaching and is one of the many strategies that Project Rhino and others use to save rhinos.
It is important to understand why rhino dehorning is done, and to help spread awareness about this conservation approach so if you would like to read more about it, please check out my conservation blog here.
Any donation you can spare will be hugely appreciated and directly support crucial operations on the ground in South Africa, saving the lives of African rhinos and ensuring that these beautiful yet endangered animals continue to survive.
Thanks so much